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music memes from the facebook
So, there is this meme going round Facebook the last couple weeks where you post 10 albums from when you were a teenager. I've kinda been resisting doing it because ugh Facebook, but then i remembered mom writing me half-sad at New Year's that she always likes when i post something, no matter what it is, because it's all she ever hears from me. Yes, i am a shit child. Anyway, that's a different post. This post is about being a teenager.


Ten albums from my teenage years that left an impression on me. (In no particular order.)

1. Exxos - Dune
2. Scooter - And The Beat Goes On
3. U96 - Replugged
4. Nine Inch Nails - Further Down The Spiral (Halo 10v2)
5. Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman
6. Kosmik Kommando - Freaquenseize
7. various - Mission Underground (Djax-Up-Beats)
8. various - Interference - Live At Love Parade '94
9. various - Chicago House 86 - 91: The Definitive Story
10. Synchro - Science Friction

At the time i hated buying compilations and vastly preferred artist albums. But now look. Without a doubt these compilations completely changed my life. Honorary mention to The Immortals - Mortal Kombat for indirectly introducing me to some of my oldest friends.


Because it's Facebook i couldn't really go into the depth these albums deserve. I could write several entries on each one. But what i think is particularly interesting is that compared to my friends' lists i have next to no rock or pop music on there. It's not like i didn't listen to the guitar music of the time, but i've forgotten most of it now because ... well, it was just background music. Certainly not something that touched me enough to spend my hard-earned dish pig wages on.

It occurred to me that the only two periods of my life where i got into a lot of guitar music were when i was a hair metal-loving tween and when i was a suicidal manic-depressive twentysomething. Both of those periods in my life suck suck sucked. I was so fucking unhappy. But i think i might be unusual in that for most of my teenage years i was actually pretty happy. When i reflect on those times i look back so fondly on all the discovery.

I never ceased to be surprised and overjoyed. The thrill of finding a new record label, or a new subgenre, or a wild new synthesizer sound... I was filled with inspiration. The years 1994 through 1998ish i wrote more music than i ever did before or since. I taught myself how to arrange, how to program synthesizers, how to mangle samples. I started going to raves, i started going to clubs. God knows i had my fair share of teenage angst, but it would be dwarfed by the despair, anger and bitterness of most of my 20s.

The thing is, even though my 20s weren't all that long ago, the memories of my teenage years seem so much richer. I guess your brain kinda mutes the bad memories. And, with it, the music i listened to at the time. I guess i associate electronic music with the best times in my life, with my happiest moments of mystery and escape and wonder. The production tricks don't bamboozle me any more, but when i hear a soulful synth solo i never heard before, even today it takes me away.

It's why one of my biggest hopes for 2017 is that i will get back into music again. It's the reason why i moved to Berlin in the first place, after all.

Here's a song that i don't think ever made my drunken funeral tag posts, but it's one of my favorites of my teenage years. Deep Space Network - Earth Interlock. One of the most beautiful uses of a 303 ever. The portamentos are straight-up poetry.

Oh Sunday. The tangents i will go on to avoid having to think about going to work tomorrow.

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(Deleted comment)
My compilation snobbery at the time was a typical teenage "undergrounder than thou" attitude. I always thought people who bought compilations were taking the easy way out - listening to greatest hits instead of "music the way the artist intended". Which is, of course utter nonsense. Especially with electronic music where the vast majority of artists only ever released singles and not albums. And nowadays, even though ostensibly albums still exist, people primarily buy (and listen to) songs in single format anyway. So, looking back, I don't think it is a problem at all to consider some of your favorite "albums" to be compilations. I still think it's interesting to reflect :)

I think the good times in my 20s were better than the good times in my teens, but the bad times were much worse for me. I wonder if there is some kind of common theme around what makes certain parts of people's lives "good" vs "bad"? I guess, if we could quantify what exactly that was, it would be much easier for us to seek out that environment again.

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